Short Orders (Casablanca)
Middle East Buffet
(728 E. Brady St.) offers outdoor seating, a lounge where it’s possible
to smoke from a water pipe, and a pleasant dining room. The large menu,
which is strictly vegetarian on weekdays, sets high standards for
Middle Eastern food. A first timer might want to try the weekday lunch
or Sunday brunch buffets as an inexpensive way to sample the food.
Start with the yellow lentil soup, which is fragrant with cumin, and
salads such as tuboleh, Jerusalem salad or cabbage with olive oil and
a touch of lemon juice. Then try falafel, hummus and babaghanouj. The
vegetarian entrees are enticing, whether made of long-grained basmati
rice, eggplant or garlicky carrots. On Sunday the buffet is a bit more
expensive, but it adds meat dishes. You might find lamb shanks, baked
tilapia or lamb with tahini and potatoes. I prefer to order meat dishes
straight from the menu. The schwarma, kifta kabob and chicken sumac are
Still, at $8.95 on weekdays and $13.95 on Sunday, Casablanca’s buffet is a good value.